Friday, October 6, 2017

Reading Period 5: October 6-12: The Black Stallion

Long Read:

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley, chapters 7-12

Short Read:

"A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (Note: This web page has wall-to-wall text which may be hard to read on a computer screen. You can copy/paste it into a document you can manipulate, or you can shrink the size of the window so reading a narrower column of text is easier.)


"Beach Glass" by Amy Clampitt

While you walk the water's edge,
turning over concepts
I can't envision, the honking buoy
serves notice that at any time
the wind may change,
the reef-bell clatters
its treble monotone, deaf as Cassandra
to any note but warning. The ocean,
cumbered by no business more urgent
than keeping open old accounts
that never balanced,
goes on shuffling its millenniums
of quartz, granite, and basalt.
It behaves
toward the permutations of novelty—
driftwood and shipwreck, last night's
beer cans, spilt oil, the coughed-up
residue of plastic—with random
impartiality, playing catch or tag
ot touch-last like a terrier,
turning the same thing over and over,
over and over. For the ocean, nothing
is beneath consideration.
The houses
of so many mussels and periwinkles
have been abandoned here, it's hopeless
to know which to salvage. Instead
I keep a lookout for beach glass—
amber of Budweiser, chrysoprase
of Almadén and Gallo, lapis
by way of (no getting around it,
I'm afraid) Phillips'
Milk of Magnesia, with now and then a rare
translucent turquoise or blurred amethyst
of no known origin.
The process
goes on forever: they came from sand,
they go back to gravel,
along with treasuries
of Murano, the buttressed
astonishments of Chartres,
which even now are readying
for being turned over and over as gravely
and gradually as an intellect
engaged in the hazardous
redefinition of structures
no one has yet looked at.

Creative Assignments:

When you read a poem like "Beach Glass" you may run into unfamiliar words. The first time you read, read straight through to try and understand the feeling of the poem as a whole. But the second time you read, please look up words like periwinkles, chrysoprase, Almaden, Milk of Magnesia, the glass blowers of Murano, the cathedral of Chartres, etc. When you have looked up all the unfamiliar words, read the poem again with this knowledge, to help you understand it more fully. Then create a digital collage of everything you learned while reading.

Right click on images of the things you have discovered, and save them into a folder.
Open Picmonkey.
Hover over "Design" at the top and choose "Blank Canvas."
Choose the size you want.
Choose "Overlays" in the menu on the left (the butterfly icon).
Choose "Add your own" and "My Computer"
Add images that you found on the internet.
When an image shows up, you can adjust the size by dragging the corners.
It's okay if they overlap some!
When you're done, choose Export at the top, and name your file.
Save to your computer, upload to Google+.


Create a piece of art that represents an episode in your "All for One" campaign! It could be an action scene, an image of a gargoyle fighting a peasant, or your interpretation of the queen. It could be Snowden riding a gargoyle above the streets of Paris, wearing the Queen's crown and brandishing a bloody knife. Whatever. Use unlined paper and colorful materials -- paint, watercolor pencils, crayons, markers, etc. If you want help with visuals of Notre Dame, here is the cathedral's web site and here you can play around a bit with Google Street View to explore the area. Alternatively, you could paint or draw a scene from "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings."

Writing Assignment:

Examine your "My Struggle" list from class or from last week's Creative Assignment and identify one or two opposing pairs that are not values, but opinions or traits. So don't choose "Against racism, for not racism" or "Against unfairness, for fairness." Choose something like "Against homework, for games" or "Against inside, for outside" or something like that. You're not looking to create a normal person and a monster, you're looking to create two normal people who have different struggles. Think of Dali's pairs like "progress/perennality" and "egalitarianism/hierarchization" and "spinach/snails." The least interesting pairs will be things that are obviously good paired with things that are obviously bad. While I'm glad you have those values, and you can draw on them when you create a comic book hero and supervillain, you're not looking to do that for this assignment.

Now create a pair of characters, as we discussed in class, that reflect the different elements of this opposition. These foil characters should illuminate each other's opposing qualities, so one character reflects your opinion or trait, and one has the opposite. If you're neat, your foil character is messy. If you're aggressive, your foil is peaceful. If you're focused and deliberate, your foil is a dreamer and distracted. Now, after reading "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" and "A Hunger Artist," put your characters into a situation in one of these stories. Maybe they could be visiting the angel or the artist, having a conversation in front of the enclosure, or trying to release them, or have them removed. Maybe they could be residents of one of the villages in the stories. Put them in a situation that will stress their differences and force them to show their traits, and then let the conflict play out in dialogue and action. Write at least 500 words of a scene. It doesn't have to be a complete story, just needs to show the characters in action. Post to the Google+ by 7pm on Wednesday, but also remember to print it for me and turn it in on Thursday.


1. The Black was the only animal on board that didn't get sick. Why were the animals getting sick?
2. Why doesn't Alec have to produce papers for the Quarantine Inspector?
3. What helper presents himself to Alec at the pier and how does he help?
4. What is the attitude of Mr. and Mrs. Dailey toward the Black?
5. What is the attitude of Tony toward the Black?
6. What does Henry Dailey reveal about himself that is relevant to Alec and the Black's future?
7. Where does Alec find the Black after he escapes from the farm?
8. What obstacle to Henry and Alec face when it comes to entering the Black in a race?
9. How does Alec earn money for his allowance, to pay for the Black's upkeep?
10. What new experience does the Black encounter on April 1 and how does he like it?

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